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Local History  Ngā Tāhuhu Kōrero o Mana Whenua

Hastings Library has a Local History Collection covering the history of Hastings and the Hastings District. There are reference items that can only be used in the library, as well as many items available in the lending collections.

For more information, please contact the Hastings District Libraries on +64 06 871 5000, or email at

Books for sale

Hastings District Libraries has a number of locally produced local history-related books for sale. There are copies of each of the below available from each branch of our libraries. Just ask at the counter.

Our Village - Our Story

Our Village - Our Story

A History of Havelock North, from 1860 - 1962. Produced for the Havelock North Borough Council. $10.00

Town & Country

Town & Country

The History of Hastings and District. Printed in 2001. $20.00

Hawke's Bay Opera House

Hawke's Bay Opera House

The First Hundred Years - 1915 - 2015. Written by Michael Fowler. Printed 2016. $29.99

Havelock North

Havelock North

The History of a Village. Written by Matthew Wright. Printed in 1996. $15.00

Hastings and District War Memorials

Hawke's Bay has many memorials to those who died in conflicts during the 20th Century.

Hastings War Memorial Library was built as a memorial to those from the Hastings district who died in World War 2.  Our Hall of Memories is a very special place.

In Civic Square we also have the Hastings Cenotaph, erected in memory of those who died in World War 1.

To commemorate those brave people who bought with their lives the freedom we enjoy today, library staff have compiled a list of Hastings District memorials and rolls of honour.  We have also attempted to add their first names where possible. 

This is a work in progress and we have more names to add.  Please advise us of any changes that may need to be made.

"Let Those Who Come After
See To It That Their Names
Be Not Forgotten"

Both Hastings and Havelock North Libraries have Community Archives.  These are available Monday to Friday only.

Material held includes books, journals, ephemera and a significant number of photos.

The Community Archives do not include Council records.  These are held by the Hastings District Council Archives.

From a free reading room to computerised services the Hastings Library has evolved over many years. 

Our buildings have been built, fallen down (literally), moved, rebuilt and extended, to provide a much used community service in the heart of Hastings.

Pre 1901

Library service was given by the Atheneum Society with a popular free reading room in Market Street.

1901 - 1904

The Hastings Borough Council takes over the Atheneum.  A Carnegie grant for a free public library was received (6/10/1904).


A new two-storied red brick library in Market Street South was opened on 16/9/1907.


The old Hastings Library destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.

A temporary library was established in the municipal building.

After much controversy about what form a war memorial should take, it was finally decided this should be a new (free) library on Civic Square.


The original building on the present Civic Square site was built as a War Memorial Library and opened on 18 October 1959.


Restructuring as a result of the Council amalgamations was completed and the Havelock North Library joined the Hastings Library and Flaxmere Library to become the Hastings District Libraries.


The Hastings Library was extensively altered in 1993, with two new wings added plus a mezzanine floor. 

This information is quoted from City of the Plains, by M. B. Boyd.

Hastings War Memorial Library

Local History
Archives - by appointment
Warren Street South
Phone + 64 06 871 5000

Havelock North Library

Local History Archives - by appointment
Te Mata Road
Havelock North 
Phone + 64 06 871 5000

Napier Public Library

Station Street
PO Box 940
Phone +64 06 835 6915

MTG - Museum, Theatre, Gallery Hawke's Bay

9 Hershell Street
PO Box 248
Phone 06 835 7781

The Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank

Recently launched, the Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank "will be a living record of Hawke's Bay and its people. It combines a robust, secure and widely-compatible digital archive with a new generation of multimedia and social tools. We want to enrich our stored material with the knowledge of the community through user comments, tagging and sharing of information."

Hawkes Bay Digital Archives

901 Omahu Road, Hastings, New Zealand
Hastings, Hawke's Bay 4120

National Archives

10 Mulgrave Street
Wellington 6011
Phone +64 04 499 5595

Alexander Turnbull Library

Located in the National Library of New Zealand
Corner Molesworth & Aitken Streets,

Services for researchers can be found at the National Library of New Zealand's website:


Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Havelock North

Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 10.00am - 1.00pm


Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm

Hastings District Council - Copyright © 2024 Hastings District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hastings District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hastings District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hastings District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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